24
Day 5: 12:00 AM – 1:00 AM

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M. Giant: B+ | Grade It Now!
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Tale of the Tape

Without preamble, Kiefer pulls out the digital recorder and plays it back for Heller. Devane does a pretty good job of just standing there looking amazed at what he's hearing, which is, as you'll recall, proof of Logan's involvement in Palmer's death. His shocked silence continues when the recording ends, and Kiefer fills in the blanks: Logan supplied the terrorists with Sentox nerve gas, planning to release it en route to Moscow, simultaneously exposing the terrorists and providing the U.S. with a pretext to establish a military presence in Central Asia, thereby also establishing control over the region's oil. "David Palmer found out about it," Kiefer concludes. "That's why they killed him." He leaves out the fact that the writers only just decided all this about Logan an hour or so ago. Heller gives a little speech: "I wish I could say I was surprised but I'm not. I watched Charles Logan rise on the tide of his own ambition. I was terrified when he took the oath." That would explain why Heller was hiding at the time. And I'm sorry, but nobody was more terrified than Logan. "Ambition," my shiny metal ass. Kiefer explains that he needed someone with access to turn the recording over to the Attorney General. "You're the only one I could trust," he tells Heller, who reluctantly takes the little device that Kiefer's holding out to him. "All right, then," Heller says, and leaves. Well, that was almost too easy.

Alone with Audrey, Kiefer tells her to go with her dad to help corroborate the evidence; as for Kiefer himself, he's going to "go dark" and tell Buchanan what's going on. This sounds like a good plan, until Audrey jinxes it by smiling and saying, "Everything's going to be all right now," and kissing him goodbye. And that jinx takes effect rather quickly, because when she opens the door, Heller's storming back in, this time flanked by his goons. "Jack, one more thing," he says, and sucker-punches Kiefer in the throat. Kiefer goes down, gasping and choking. Wow, not bad for an old guy. Is he also the Secretary of Self-Defense? Audrey yells at her dad, who tells one of his guards to "secure" her while the other puts Kiefer in plastic handcuffs. That's no way to treat the guy who saved your life. Heller lectures Kiefer, "You're playing a dangerous game, Jack. And you're playing it wrong." And just when I was about to drink, too. Heller says that going public with Logan's misdeeds will destroy the presidency and the country. "The collateral damage of the truth will cripple this nation." Funny, I don't remember Heller talking like an op-ed columnist all the time last season. Audrey asks him if he's just going to bury the evidence, and he says that she's coming with him. "We'll use the evidence to get Logan to step down quietly. Once he's gone, we'll have a chance to set things right again." For safekeeping, he hands the recording to the guard who's holding Audrey. She says she's not going with him, but Heller doesn't care: "Secure them both until you hear from me," he tells his guards. And he heads out by himself, Audrey begging him to stop. I don't believe that a guy who spent the first quarter of last season getting kidnapped and then almost getting shot and blown up on a live webcast gets to go out alone now, martial law or not. Kiefer gets his voice back just enough to croak, "Mr. Secretary, you can't make a deal with him! You can't trust him!" Oh, whatever, Kiefer; you just met the guy for the first time this afternoon. Heller's probably been getting unfairly yelled at in Cabinet meetings for the past year and a half. I think he probably knows the President better than you do. Anyway, it's 12:11:46.

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